It was a busy weekend for the Hope Secondary girls’ soccer team and their coach, Jeremy Smith. The team hosted its fourth annual tournament on Friday and Saturday — then capped off the weekend by serving a four-course supper to 125 people at the rec centre, Sunday evening.
HSS and fourteen visiting teams, from as far away as Fraser Lake and Fort St. James (north-west of Prince George) used fields at Silver Creek, C.E. Barry and HSS in 40-minute mini-games, Friday. Results from the round robin matches put the teams in tiers for the Saturday playdowns.
The Mustangs’ three wins and three losses put them up against Ashcroft for the fifth and sixth-place final, which the visitors won 3-1. Merritt beat Clearwater, 2-0 in the championship match.
Friday’s weather was quite pleasant until a cool breeze kicked up for the late games — but Saturday morning started with blustery winds and the threat of rain, which was boiling up from the lower valley but somehow waited till the event was over before arriving in Hope.
“We picked the best weather window of the whole week,” said coach Smith, Monday.
Smith noted that with a 27-member team, he had to do a lot of juggling to get everyone some playing time — while still staying competitive. “I want to say a shout-out to the grade 7 girls who didn’t get to play much. I hope they will stick with it and carry on. It was very hard, cycling everybody through.
“I’d also like to thank Abby Striker and Ben Gladue, who have been a great support this year,” he added.
A standout amongst the youngest Mustangs was Emma Miller, who scored the first goal in her first-ever game.
Sarah George and Camryn Ogren were the Mustangs’ leading scorers on the weekend. Ogren and Kristen Feltren will be the only players graduating from the team this year, so Smith will have many returnees to work with next year.
Sunday morning at 11, Smith and the girls were back at school, cooking up a storm in preparation for the volunteer appreciation dinner at the rec centre.
“Dennis Adamson (FVRD Area B director) hosts the dinner every two years and he asked me if we wanted to do it as a fundraiser for the team,” said Smith, who is a foods teacher at the school.
“We made soup, Caesar salad, chicken Marsala — and baked Alaska for dessert.”
Trouble was: there were no facilities for keeping the foods hot — or cold — at the venue.
“We had to make phone calls back to the school: ‘Bring it now!’ when the next course was needed,” said Smith. “We got caught by the train a few times but it all worked out.”
Funds raised will help with travel to tournaments this spring.